Police Corruption

9501 Words Mar 13th, 2013 39 Pages
Police Corruption: A Perspective View Into the

Definition, Cause, & Harm

Randy Botelho

BSLS Capstone, LS498-01 – Unit 9

Professor Odim

December 17, 2011

Thesis Statement

Corruption in law enforcement is not victimless and creates a negative perception of the United States legal system.


There are few professions in the United States that are entrusted with protecting society’s safety and system of laws that have been established throughout the course of American history. One of those professions is that of a police officer. It is an admirable calling for an individual to deal with criminals and place themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. It is certainly not a job that can be done by everyone and
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This may appear at first glance to be a matter of such a fundamental nature as not to deserve specific mention in an agency policy. Certainly, police officers are as subject to the law as any other person. But reality dictates and history has shown that some officers, whether through misguided zeal or for other reasons, may come to view themselves and their police colleagues as exempt from the law on a general, selective, or situational basis. This element of the policy is intended to stress the importance of the rule of law for all officers and to hold each officer accountable for any legal wrongdoing. (para. 4)

When police officers choose a path that is immoral or unethical, they are labeled as being corrupt. The media can play a significant role in the public’s opinion of police officers and this idea was supported by Gallagher, Maguire, Mastrofski, and Reisig in a 2001 report on the public image of police when they stated “In the final analysis, it is not unreasonable to suppose that people exposed to negative mass media images will have lower evaluations of the police” (p. 37). There is a lack of state and federal laws that specifically address police corruption as a whole and Neild (2007) addressed this by saying “It is important that national laws and institutional norms governing policing address issues of corruption explicitly, and make it clear that

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